There is a common phrase we use and hear when talking about people we know; ‘he is just like his father’ or ‘she is just like her mother.’ This is not always true, but we often see the good or bad behavior in individuals and notice how they are copying either their parents or others they are close to.
Who should we imitate? Paul exhorts the Ephesians; “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children” (Ephesians 5:1). He is indicating that our imitation must be of God, knowing that He is our Father. That is what a child of God does. What does this word “imitate” mean? We are to become like God to a point that we possess the same characteristics that He has. The context around this short verse shows that we are to “put off or put away” behaviors that marked us before being made new in Christ (4:22-29; 2 Corinthians 5:17). These former behaviors “grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).
There is not one of us who is exempt from this exhortation. We all need to examine our walk to see if it is in love and in the light (5:1, 8). For true disciples of Jesus, this is not just a matter of ‘following’ but of representing God in our manner of life. Others are watching!
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